Trump Administration Bars New Grants at EPA, Institutes Media Blackout

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By Editors of Power Engineering

The Trump administration has barred the Environmental Protection Agency from all new business activities, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors.

Though administration officials called the move a temporary suspension, it’s expected to have an immediate impact on EPA activities worldwide, the Associated Press reported.

Additionally, the administration has instituted a temporary media blackout at the EPA, including prohibitions on press releases, blog updates or social media posts.

The administration has given similar media blackout orders to other federal agencies, including the Agriculture and Interior departments.

The move requires staffers at EPA’s public affars to forward all inquiries from reporters to the Office of Administration and Resources Management.

According to emails sent to EPA staff indicate all media requests will be carefully screened, and that only critical messages can be shared. The EPA’s websites and social media accounts have not been updated since Friday.

Doug Ericksen, the communications director for Trump's transition team at EPA, said the communications ban could be lifted sometime this week.

Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt, his pick to head the EPA, have been frequent critics of the agency, and Pruitt spent much of his time as Attorney General of Oklahoma fighting EPA regulations. Pruitt has not yet been confirmed as head of the agency.

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